I am writing this from my observation room in urgent care where I am currently hooked up to an IV and an EKG after undergoing blood work and X-rays on my chest. Not exactly what I expected to be doing on a Sunday night.
The headline is: I did NOT have a heart attack. I won’t make you read to the end for that.. so relax.
What I do know is that around 3pm today I felt a weird feeling in my heart that I have NEVER felt before. I don’t know how to describe it. Maybe it was palpitations or flutters or something else. All of a sudden I felt like my heart just wasn’t doing its thing. It was weird and it was unusual. I felt a little sweaty… a little unsteady… and it was a little hard to catch my breath… and more than anything I was a little freaked out. I went and told my wife. And I went outside to get air hoping whatever this was would just go away. After a ten minutes or so it did. But what the hell WAS it. I didn’t know. I didn’t think I’d had a heart attack. Did I? I certainly wasn’t clutching my chest or hitting the floor in agony. It was just weird. My wife suggested going to urgent care just to be safe. I’m stubborn and I didn’t want to be a bother. Things had seemed to settle down anyway.
So I did what any good father in my situation would do. I grabbed the kids and took them for ice cream. I didn’t know if I’d had a heart attack and didn’t think so but if I did.. I wasn’t gonna go down like that. We went to Baskin Robbins and I got an Oreo shake. Mmmmm Oreo.
The heart thing was still nagging at me though. Why did my heart seem to spaz out and what was it. Eventually at my wife’s persistent urging, I dragged the family urgent care in Pasadena. They did an EKG. They did blood work. They did chest X-rays. They observed me… and observed me more. I laid back and watched 60 Minutes and Madam Secretary. Even in urgent care, I’m still a news guy and a company guy and maybe they’ve got Nielsen boxes in there.
What I do know is this: They came back and told me I do not have any of the markers of a heart attack in my blood. None. And after observing me for a couple of hours, my EKG was still looking OK with no signs of whatever I had felt before. I am here and I am alive and I am feeling goofy being hooked up to all this stuff when they now think my heart is totally fine. What did I feel? Who knows. I got to do some reading in the bed here and was reminded how many people dismiss their symptoms and wait too long to seek medical help. Sure I went for ice cream but the “what the hell was that” still nagged at me to go and my wife too. And I’m glad I did. Because they gave me peace of mind.
While I didn’t have a heart attack and everything looks good… I am taking this opportunity to pass on to you… symptoms to look out for. Don’t take your kids for ice cream just in case. Get the clean bill of health and take ’em for ice cream afterwards.
PS: I wrote this a little while ago and am only posting it now. I questioned whether to even bother writing about something which turned out to be nothing. But I also thought it was a good opportunity for a little heart awareness. Dadmissions.